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Below is a family biography included in The History of DeKalb County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Pat Geraty, a merchant of Dowelltown, was born in 1832 at Castle Bar, County Mio, Ireland. He is one of six surviving children of a family of nine born to John and Catherine (Conway) Geraghty. The father was born in 1795, same place where Pat first saw the light. Early in life he was a carpenter, afterward a farmer. He died about 1880, in the vicinity in which he had always lived. The mother was born about 1798, in the same county, at Clare, and died in 1883. Our subject was educated in the common schools of his childhood’s home. After attaining his majority he came to America, landing in New York, where for six or eight months he lived in the suburbs. He then went to Canada; for six months he was engaged in farming. He moved to Bock Island, Ill., in 1857, and became a United States soldier, serving as such eight years. In the late civil war he was in Company G, Fourth United States Cavalry. He took part in the famous battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Lookout Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta and in numerous skirmishes. He was honorably discharged at Gravely Springs, Ala., March 13, 1865, from the army in which he had so bravely fought for the preservation of the stars and stripes. He was very much enfeebled in health, from the hardships and exposures common to a soldier’s life, and remained delicate several years. Immediately after the restoration of peace, he established himself in the mercantile business in Clear Forks, Cannon County, Tenn., where he remained fourteen years, when he sold out and moved to Donelltown, again embarking in the same business. About 1870 he married Sallie Melissa, daughter of John and Julia (Knights) Hale, of Cannon County. Mrs. Geraty was born in 1842, where her marriage took place. This union has resulted in the birth of Catherine, Julia Ann and John. Mr. Geraty is a self-made man; he landed in New York without a penny, but a stout heart and firm determination. He now owns a valuable farm of sixty acres Dowelltown, and his store has a first-class stock, valued at about $3,500. He is a worthy citizen, and much respected. He is a Republican, and cast his first presidential vote for A. Lincoln, in 1864. He is a member of the G. A. R., Floyd Post, No. 16. He is a Roman Catholic, and his wife a Missionary Baptist.

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This family biography is one of 45 biographies included in The History of DeKalb County, Tennessee published in 1887.  The History of Dekalb County was included within The History of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren & White Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren, White Counties of Tennessee

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